The University of Oxford plans to diversity its curriculum by requiring students to learn more about the history of Black, Asian and other nonwhite people at the prestigious British university, The Times reported.
Beginning with the next academic term, history undergraduate students must take on a compulsory exam paper featuring Black, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian affairs as part of their three-year degree course after critics said the current curriculum was focused too much on white people, the newspaper said.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi may be among world figures explored in the new curriculum, along with the 1960s American civil rights movement and Indian independence. Compulsory papers on British and Europeans history still will be required, The Times said.
The change comes after a student-led Rhodes Must Fall campaign across the United Kingdom and South Africa that called for statues of the Victorian colonialist Cecil Rhodes to be removed from campuses.
In a statement, Oxford’s history faculty told the paper that the change has been in the works for a while and that it regularly reviews its curriculum.
“After a number of years of discussion and consultation among ourselves and with students, we have decided to make a number of changes to the curriculum,” the faculty said. “Among these is a requirement that students study one paper [from a wide range of such options] in non-British and non-European history alongside two papers of British history and two papers of European history.”
In the U.S., more diversity has been a focus on university campuses as well, with students calling for the inclusion of diverse subject matters in curriculums and the hiring of more nonwhite professors.